Encephalartos Altensteinii Descriptive Essay

1. Strobilus – A strobilus is a structure present on many land plant species consisting of sporangia-bearing structures densely aggregated along a stem. Strobili are often called cones, but many botanists restrict the use of the cone to the woody seed strobili of conifers. Strobili are characterized by a central axis surrounded by spirally arranged or decussate structures that may be modified leaves or modified stems, leaves that bear sporangia are called sporophylls, while sporangia-bearing stems are called sporangiophores. Some members of both of the two classes of Lycopodiophyta produce strobili. In all cases, the organs of the strobilus are microphylls. In other lycophytes, ordinary foliage leaves can act as sporophylls, the single extant genus of Equisetophyta, Equisetum, produces strobili in which the lateral organs are sporangiophores. Developmental evidence and comparison with fossil members of the show that the sporangiophores are reduced stems. With the exception of flowering plants, seed plants produce ovules, strobili bearing microsporangia are called microsporangiate strobili or pollen cones, and those bearing ovules are megasporangiate strobili or seed cones. The lateral organs of seed strobili are megasporophylls that bear two to several marginal ovules, pollen strobili consist of microsporophylls, each of which may have dozens or hundreds of abaxial microsporangia. The single living member of the Ginkgophyta, Ginkgo biloba produces pollen strobili, pollen strobili of Pinophyta are similar to those of cycads and Ginkgoes in that they are composed of microsporophylls with microsporangia on the abaxial surface. Seed cones of many conifers are compound strobili, the central stem produces bracts and in the axil of each bract is a cone scale. Morphologically the cone scale is a reduced stem, ovules are produced on the adaxial surface of the cone scales. Gnetophyta consists of three genera, Ephedra, Gnetum and Welwitschia, all three are typically dioecious, although some Ephedra species exhibit monoecy. In contrast to the conifers, which have simple pollen strobili and compound seed strobili, the seed strobili of Ephedra and Gnetum are reduced, with Ephedra producing only two ovules per strobilus and Gnetum a single ovule. The flower of flowering plants is sometimes referred to as a bisexual strobilus, stamens include microsporangia within the anther, and ovules contain megasporangia. Magnolia has a particularly strobiloid flower with all parts arranged in a spiral, a number of flowering plants have inflorescences that resemble strobili, such as catkins, but are actually more complex in structure than strobili. It is likely that strobili evolved independently in most if not all these groups, the word strobilus is related to the ancient Greek strobilos = whirlwind. Gifford, E. M. & Foster, A. S. Comparative morphology of vascular plants, 3rd ed

2. Encephalartos villosus – The species is common throughout its range and is the most frequently cultivated in Southern Africa, largely because of its affordable price. As a result of its geographical distribution, it is notably variable in leaf. A largely underground trunk results in very little of the plant being visible, the preferred habitat of this species is frost-free coastal bush. It hybridises readily with Encephalartos altensteinii in the Eastern Cape and with Encephalartos lebomboensis in the Pongola area, the crown normally consists of tightly-packed bracts covered in dense grey woolly hair. As with all cycads this species is dioecious, male plants may carry up to 15 cones, whereas only one or two occur on the females. The seeds, embedded in bright-red flesh are eaten and distributed by the purple-crested lourie, media related to Encephalartos villosus at Wikimedia Commons

3. Taxonomy (biology) – Taxonomy is the science of defining groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics and giving names to those groups. The exact definition of taxonomy varies from source to source, but the core of the remains, the conception, naming. There is some disagreement as to whether biological nomenclature is considered a part of taxonomy, the broadest meaning of taxonomy is used here. The word taxonomy was introduced in 1813 by Candolle, in his Théorie élémentaire de la botanique, the term alpha taxonomy is primarily used today to refer to the discipline of finding, describing, and naming taxa, particularly species. In earlier literature, the term had a different meaning, referring to morphological taxonomy, ideals can, it may be said, never be completely realized. They have, however, a value of acting as permanent stimulants. Some of us please ourselves by thinking we are now groping in a beta taxonomy, turrill thus explicitly excludes from alpha taxonomy various areas of study that he includes within taxonomy as a whole, such as ecology, physiology, genetics, and cytology. He further excludes phylogenetic reconstruction from alpha taxonomy, thus, Ernst Mayr in 1968 defined beta taxonomy as the classification of ranks higher than species. This activity is what the term denotes, it is also referred to as beta taxonomy. How species should be defined in a group of organisms gives rise to practical and theoretical problems that are referred to as the species problem. The scientific work of deciding how to define species has been called microtaxonomy, by extension, macrotaxonomy is the study of groups at higher taxonomic ranks, from subgenus and above only, than species. While some descriptions of taxonomic history attempt to date taxonomy to ancient civilizations, earlier works were primarily descriptive, and focused on plants that were useful in agriculture or medicine. There are a number of stages in scientific thinking. Early taxonomy was based on criteria, the so-called artificial systems. Later came systems based on a complete consideration of the characteristics of taxa, referred to as natural systems, such as those of de Jussieu, de Candolle and Bentham. The publication of Charles Darwins Origin of Species led to new ways of thinking about classification based on evolutionary relationships and this was the concept of phyletic systems, from 1883 onwards. This approach was typified by those of Eichler and Engler, the advent of molecular genetics and statistical methodology allowed the creation of the modern era of phylogenetic systems based on cladistics, rather than morphology alone. Taxonomy has been called the worlds oldest profession, and naming and classifying our surroundings has likely been taking place as long as mankind has been able to communicate

4. Plant – Plants are mainly multicellular, predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the kingdom Plantae. The term is generally limited to the green plants, which form an unranked clade Viridiplantae. This includes the plants, conifers and other gymnosperms, ferns, clubmosses, hornworts, liverworts, mosses and the green algae. Green plants have cell walls containing cellulose and obtain most of their energy from sunlight via photosynthesis by primary chloroplasts and their chloroplasts contain chlorophylls a and b, which gives them their green color. Some plants are parasitic and have lost the ability to produce amounts of chlorophyll or to photosynthesize. Plants are characterized by sexual reproduction and alternation of generations, although reproduction is also common. There are about 300–315 thousand species of plants, of which the great majority, green plants provide most of the worlds molecular oxygen and are the basis of most of Earths ecologies, especially on land. Plants that produce grains, fruits and vegetables form humankinds basic foodstuffs, Plants play many roles in culture. They are used as ornaments and, until recently and in variety, they have served as the source of most medicines. The scientific study of plants is known as botany, a branch of biology, Plants are one of the two groups into which all living things were traditionally divided, the other is animals. The division goes back at least as far as Aristotle, who distinguished between plants, which generally do not move, and animals, which often are mobile to catch their food. Much later, when Linnaeus created the basis of the system of scientific classification. Since then, it has become clear that the plant kingdom as originally defined included several unrelated groups, however, these organisms are still often considered plants, particularly in popular contexts. When the name Plantae or plant is applied to a group of organisms or taxon. The evolutionary history of plants is not yet settled. Those which have been called plants are in bold, the way in which the groups of green algae are combined and named varies considerably between authors. Algae comprise several different groups of organisms which produce energy through photosynthesis, most conspicuous among the algae are the seaweeds, multicellular algae that may roughly resemble land plants, but are classified among the brown, red and green algae. Each of these groups also includes various microscopic and single-celled organisms

5. Cycad – Cycads /ˈsaɪkædz/ are seed plants with a long fossil history that were formerly more abundant and more diverse than they are today. They typically have a stout and woody trunk with a crown of large, hard and stiff, the individual plants are either all male or all female. Cycads vary in size from having only a few centimeters to several meters tall. They typically grow very slowly and live long, with some specimens known to be as much as 1,000 years old. Because of their resemblance, they are sometimes mistaken for palms or ferns. The living cycads are found much of the subtropical and tropical parts of the world. The greatest diversity occurs in South and Central America, some can survive in harsh desert or semi-desert climates, others in wet rain forest conditions, and some in both. Some can grow in sand or even on rock, some in oxygen-poor, swampy, some are able to grow in full sun, some in full shade, and some in both. The three extant families of cycads are Cycadaceae, Stangeriaceae, and Zamiaceae, Cycads have changed little since the Jurassic, compared to some major evolutionary changes in other plant divisions. Cycads have very specialized pollinators, usually a species of beetle. They have been reported to fix nitrogen in association with various cyanobacteria living in the roots and these photosynthetic bacteria produce a neurotoxin called BMAA that is found in the seeds of cycads. This neurotoxin may enter a food chain as the cycad seeds may be eaten directly as a source of flour by humans or by wild or feral animals such as bats. It is hypothesized that this is a source of some neurological diseases in humans, Cycads have a cylindrical trunk which usually does not branch. Leaves grow directly from the trunk, and typically fall when older, the leaves grow in a rosette form, with new foliage emerging from the top and center of the crown. The trunk may be buried, so the leaves appear to be emerging from the ground, the leaves are generally large in proportion to the trunk size, and sometimes even larger than the trunk. The leaves are pinnate, with a leaf stalk from which parallel ribs emerge from each side of the stalk. The leaves are typically either compound, or have edges so deeply cut so as to appear compound. Some species have leaves that are bipinnate, which means the leaflets each have their own subleaflets, for example, the family Stangeriaceae only contains three extant species in Africa and Australia

6. Cycadales – Cycadales is an order of seed plants that includes all the extant cycads. These plants typically have a stout and woody trunk with a crown of large, hard and stiff, the individual plants are either all male or all female. Cycads vary in size from having only a few centimeters to several meters tall. They typically grow very slowly and live long, with some specimens known to be as much as 1,000 years old. Because of the resemblance, they are sometimes confused with and mistaken for palms or ferns. Cycadales are found much of the subtropical and tropical parts of the world. Some can survive in harsh climates, others in wet rain forest conditions. Some can grow in sand or even on rock, some in oxygen-poor, swampy, bog-like soils rich in organic material, some are able to grow in full sun, some in full shade, and some in both. Cycadales belong to the biological division Cycadophyta along with the fossil order Medullosales, the three extant families of cycadales are Cycadaceae, Stangeriaceae, and Zamiaceae. Though they are a component of the plant kingdom today, during the Jurassic period. They have changed little since the Jurassic, compared to some evolutionary changes in other plant divisions. Cycads have very specialized pollinators, usually a species of beetle. They have been reported to fix nitrogen in association with a living in the roots. These blue-green algae produce a neurotoxin called BMAA that is found in the seeds of cycads. This neurotoxin may enter a food chain as the cycad seeds may be eaten directly as a source of flour by humans or by wild or feral animals such as bats. It is hypothesized that this is a source of some neurological diseases in humans, Cycads have a cylindrical trunk which usually does not branch. Leaves grow directly from the trunk, and typically fall when older, the leaves grow in a rosette form, with new foliage emerging from the top and center of the crown. The trunk may be buried, so the leaves appear to be emerging from the ground, the leaves are generally large in proportion to the trunk size, and sometimes even larger than the trunk

7. Zamiaceae – The Zamiaceae are a family of cycads that are superficially palm or fern-like. They are divided into two subfamilies with eight genera and about 150 species in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Australia, the Zamiaceae are perennial, evergreen, and dioecious. They have subterranean to tall and erect, usually unbranched, cylindrical stems and their leaves are simply pinnate, spirally arranged, and interspersed with cataphylls. The leaflets are sometimes dichotomously divided, the leaflets occur with several sub-parallel, dichotomously-branching longitudinal veins, they lack a mid rib. Stomata occur either on both surfaces or undersurface only and their roots have small secondary roots. The coral-like roots develop at the base of the stem at or below the soil surface, male and female sporophylls are spirally aggregated into determinate cones that grow along the axis. Female sporophylls are simple, appearing peltate, with a barren stipe, the seeds are angular, with the inner coat hardened and the outer coat fleshy. They are often colored, with 2 cotyledons. One subfamily, the Encephalartoideae, is characterized by spirally arranged sporophylls, non-articulate leaflets and it is represented in Australia, with two genera and 40 species. As with all cycads, members of the Zamiaceae are poisonous, subfamily Encephalartoideae Tribe Diooeae Dioon Lindl. Tribe Encephalarteae Subtribe Encephalartinae Encephalartos Lehm, subfamily Zamioideae Tribe Ceratozamieae Ceratozamia Brongn. Tribe Zamieae Subtribe Microcycadinae Microcycas A. DC, some classifications also place the genus Bowenia in the Zamiaceae. The Cycad Pages, Zamiaceae Flora of North America New York Botanical Garden, Vascular Plant Type Catalog, some Zamiaceae genera and species

8. Johann Georg Christian Lehmann – Johann Georg Christian Lehmann was a German botanist. He spent the rest of his life as professor of physics and natural sciences at the Gymnasium Academicum in Hamburg, Lehmann died at Hamburg in 1860. Some of Lehmanns later illustrations were executed by the German entomologist Johann Wilhelm Meigen, Hamburg 1818 Plantae e Familiae Asperifoliarum Nuciferae 1818 Monographia Generis Primularum. Hamburgi 1828-1857 Delectus Seminum quae in Horto Hamburgensium Botanico e Collectioni Anni1830-1840, Hamburg 1844-1847 Index Seminum in Horto Botanico Hamburgensi A.1851 Collectorum. Hamburg 1851-1855 Revisionem Potentillarum 1856 Observationes zoologicae praesertim in faunam hamburgensem, indicem scholarum publice privatimque in Hamburgensium Gymnasio Academico 1822 Brummitt, R. K. Powell, C. E. Authors of Plant Names

9. Africa – Africa is the worlds second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.3 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earths total surface area and 20.4 % of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the human population. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos and it contains 54 fully recognized sovereign states, nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. Africas population is the youngest amongst all the continents, the age in 2012 was 19.7. Algeria is Africas largest country by area, and Nigeria by population, afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster – with the earliest Homo sapiens found in Ethiopia being dated to circa 200,000 years ago. Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas, it is the continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones. Africa hosts a diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. In the late 19th century European countries colonized most of Africa, Africa also varies greatly with regard to environments, economics, historical ties and government systems. However, most present states in Africa originate from a process of decolonization in the 20th century, afri was a Latin name used to refer to the inhabitants of Africa, which in its widest sense referred to all lands south of the Mediterranean. This name seems to have referred to a native Libyan tribe. The name is connected with Hebrew or Phoenician ʿafar dust. The same word may be found in the name of the Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania, under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of the province of Africa Proconsularis, which also included the coastal part of modern Libya. The Latin suffix -ica can sometimes be used to denote a land, the later Muslim kingdom of Ifriqiya, modern-day Tunisia, also preserved a form of the name. According to the Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while Asia was used to refer to Anatolia, as Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of Africa expanded with their knowledge. 25,4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya, isidore of Seville in Etymologiae XIV.5.2. Suggests Africa comes from the Latin aprica, meaning sunny, massey, in 1881, stated that Africa is derived from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, meaning to turn toward the opening of the Ka. The Ka is the double of every person and the opening of the Ka refers to a womb or birthplace

10. Greek language – Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean. It has the longest documented history of any living language, spanning 34 centuries of written records and its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history, other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic and many other writing systems. Together with the Latin texts and traditions of the Roman world, during antiquity, Greek was a widely spoken lingua franca in the Mediterranean world and many places beyond. It would eventually become the official parlance of the Byzantine Empire, the language is spoken by at least 13.2 million people today in Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Albania, Turkey, and the Greek diaspora. Greek roots are used to coin new words for other languages, Greek. Greek has been spoken in the Balkan peninsula since around the 3rd millennium BC, the earliest written evidence is a Linear B clay tablet found in Messenia that dates to between 1450 and 1350 BC, making Greek the worlds oldest recorded living language. Among the Indo-European languages, its date of earliest written attestation is matched only by the now extinct Anatolian languages, the Greek language is conventionally divided into the following periods, Proto-Greek, the unrecorded but assumed last ancestor of all known varieties of Greek. The unity of Proto-Greek would have ended as Hellenic migrants entered the Greek peninsula sometime in the Neolithic era or the Bronze Age, Mycenaean Greek, the language of the Mycenaean civilisation. It is recorded in the Linear B script on tablets dating from the 15th century BC onwards, Ancient Greek, in its various dialects, the language of the Archaic and Classical periods of the ancient Greek civilisation. It was widely known throughout the Roman Empire, after the Roman conquest of Greece, an unofficial bilingualism of Greek and Latin was established in the city of Rome and Koine Greek became a first or second language in the Roman Empire. The origin of Christianity can also be traced through Koine Greek, Medieval Greek, also known as Byzantine Greek, the continuation of Koine Greek in Byzantine Greece, up to the demise of the Byzantine Empire in the 15th century. Much of the written Greek that was used as the language of the Byzantine Empire was an eclectic middle-ground variety based on the tradition of written Koine. Modern Greek, Stemming from Medieval Greek, Modern Greek usages can be traced in the Byzantine period and it is the language used by the modern Greeks, and, apart from Standard Modern Greek, there are several dialects of it. In the modern era, the Greek language entered a state of diglossia, the historical unity and continuing identity between the various stages of the Greek language is often emphasised. Greek speakers today still tend to regard literary works of ancient Greek as part of their own rather than a foreign language and it is also often stated that the historical changes have been relatively slight compared with some other languages. According to one estimation, Homeric Greek is probably closer to demotic than 12-century Middle English is to modern spoken English, Greek is spoken by about 13 million people, mainly in Greece, Albania and Cyprus, but also worldwide by the large Greek diaspora. Greek is the language of Greece, where it is spoken by almost the entire population

11. Pith – Pith, or medulla, is a tissue in the stems of vascular plants. Pith is composed of soft, spongy parenchyma cells, which store, in eudicots, pith is located in the center of the stem. In monocots, it also into flowering stems and roots. The pith is encircled by a ring of xylem, the xylem, while new pith growth is usually white or pale in color, as the tissue ages it commonly darkens to a deeper brown color. In trees pith is generally present in young growth, but in the trunk, in some plants, the pith in the middle of the stem may dry out and disintegrate, resulting in a hollow stem. A few plants, such as walnuts, have distinctive chambered pith with numerous short cavities, the cells in the peripheral parts of the pith may, in some plants, develop to be different from cells in the rest of the pith. This layer of cells is called the perimedullary region of the pithamus. An example of this can be observed in Hedera helix, a species of ivy, the term pith is also used to refer to the pale, spongy inner layer of the rind - more properly called mesocarp or albedo - of citrus fruits and other hesperidia. The word comes from the Old English word piþa, meaning substance, akin to Middle Dutch pitt, the pith of the sola or other similar plants is used to make the pith helmet. The pith of the palm, although highly toxic to animals in its raw form, is an important human food source in Melanesia and Micronesia by virtue of its starch content. There is an easy, primitive process of extraction from sago pith that leaches away a sufficient amount of the toxins. The form of the starch after processing is similar to tapioca

12. Gymnosperm – The gymnosperms are a group of seed-producing plants that includes conifers, cycads, Ginkgo, and gnetophytes. The term gymnosperm comes from the Greek composite word γυμνόσπερμος, meaning naked seeds and their naked condition stands in contrast to the seeds and ovules of flowering plants, which are enclosed within an ovary. Gymnosperm seeds develop either on the surface of scales or leaves, often modified to form cones, the gymnosperms and angiosperms together compose the spermatophytes or seed plants. By far the largest group of living gymnosperms are the conifers, followed by cycads, gnetophytes, in early classification schemes, the gymnosperms were regarded as a natural group. There is conflicting evidence on the question of whether the living gymnosperms form a clade, for the most recent classification on extant gymnosperms see Christenhusz et al. There are 12 families,83 known genera with a total of ca 1080 known species, subclass Cycadidae Order Cycadales Family Cycadaceae, Cycas Family Zamiaceae, Dioon, Bowenia, Macrozamia, Lepidozamia, Encephalartos, Stangeria, Ceratozamia, Microcycas, Zamia. It is widely accepted that the gymnosperms originated in the late Carboniferous period and this appears to have been the result of a whole genome duplication event around 319 million years ago. Early characteristics of seed plants were evident in fossil progymnosperms of the late Devonian period around 383 million years ago, the scorpionflies likely engaged in pollination mutualisms with gymnosperms, long before the similar and independent coevolution of nectar-feeding insects on angiosperms. Evidence has also found that mid-Mesozoic gymnosperms were pollinated by Kalligrammatid lacewings. Conifers are by far the most abundant extant group of gymnosperms with six to eight families, with a total of 65-70 genera, conifers are woody plants and most are evergreens. The leaves of many conifers are long, thin and needle-like, other species, including most Cupressaceae and some Podocarpaceae, have flat, agathis in Araucariaceae and Nageia in Podocarpaceae have broad, flat strap-shaped leaves. Cycads are the next most abundant group of gymnosperms, with two or three families,11 genera, and approximately 338 species, the other extant groups are the 95-100 species of Gnetales and one species of Ginkgo. Pine, fir, spruce, and cedar are all examples of conifers that are used for lumber, some other common uses for gymnosperms are soap, varnish, nail polish, food, gum, and perfumes. Gymnosperms, like all plants, have a sporophyte-dominant life cycle. Two spore types, microspores and megaspores, are produced in pollen cones or ovulate cones. Gametophytes, as with all plants, develop within the spore wall. Pollen grains mature from microspores, and ultimately produce sperm cells, megagametophytes develop from megaspores and are retained within the ovule. During pollination, pollen grains are transferred between plants, from pollen cone to the ovule, being transferred by wind or insects

13. Muti – Muti is a term for traditional medicine in Southern Africa as far north as Lake Tanganyika. In South African English, the word muti is derived from the Zulu word umuthi, meaning tree, African traditional medicine makes use of various natural products, many derived from trees and other plants. Vulture brains are used for prophecy in muti and this noun is of the umu/imi class so the singular is umuthi and the plural is imithi. Since the pronunciation of the vowel of this class is unstressed. The word is rendered as muti by the effects of the British colonial spelling. My dokter het vir my muti verskaf vir my seer keel, occasions of murder and mutilation associated with some traditional cultural practices in South Africa are also termed muti killings

14. CITES – CITES is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals. It was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the convention was opened for signature in 1973 and CITES entered into force on 1 July 1975. In order to ensure that the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was not violated, as of 2015, Secretary-General of the CITES Secretariat is John E. Scanlon. CITES is one of the largest and oldest conservation and sustainable use agreements in existence, participation is voluntary, and countries that have agreed to be bound by the Convention are known as Parties. Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties, it does not take the place of national laws, rather it provides a framework respected by each Party, which must adopt their own domestic legislation to implement CITES at the national level. Often, domestic legislation is either non-existent, or with penalties with the gravity of the crime, funding for the activities of the Secretariat and Conference of the Parties meetings comes from a Trust Fund derived from Party contributions. Trust Fund money is not available to Parties to improve implementation or compliance and these activities, and all those outside Secretariat activities must find external funding, mostly from donor countries and regional organizations such as the European Union. The Secretariat, when informed of an infraction by a Party, the Secretariat will give the Party time to respond to the allegations and may provide technical assistance to prevent further infractions. Other actions the Convention itself does not provide for but that derive from subsequent COP resolutions may be taken against the offending Party, infractions may include negligence with respect to permit issuing, excessive trade, lax enforcement, and failing to produce annual reports. As of 2013 the demand was massive and had expanded to thousands of species previously considered unremarkable. The text of the Convention was finalized at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington, united States, on 3 March 1973. It was then open for signature until 31 December 1974 and it entered into force after the 10th ratification by a signatory country, on 1 July 1975. Countries that signed the Convention become Parties by ratifying, accepting or approving it, by the end of 2003, all signatory countries had become Parties. States that were not signatories may become Parties by acceding to the Convention, as of October 2016, the Convention has 183 parties, including 182 states and the European Union. The CITES Convention includes provisions and rules for trade with non-Parties, UN observer the Holy See is also not a member. The Faroe Islands, a country in the Kingdom of Denmark, is also treated as a non-Party to CITES. The REIO can vote at CITES meetings with the number of votes representing the number of members in the REIO, at that time it entered into force only for those States that had accepted the amendment. The amended text of the Convention will apply automatically to any State that becomes a Party after 29 November 2013, for States that became party to the Convention before that date and have not accepted the amendment, it will enter into force 60 days after they accept it

15. Cyanobacteria – The name cyanobacteria comes from the color of the bacteria. Sometimes, they are called blue-green algae, and incorrectly so, because cyanobacteria are prokaryotes, like other prokaryotes, cyanobacteria have no membrane-sheathed organelles. Photosynthesis is performed in distinctive folds in the membrane of the cell. Biologists commonly agree that chloroplasts found in eukaryotes have their ancestry in cyanobacteria, via a process called endosymbiosis, Cyanobacteria are a group of photosynthetic, nitrogen fixing bacteria that live in a wide variety of habitats such as moist soils and in water. They may be free-living or form relationships with plants or with lichen-forming fungi as in the lichen genus Peltigera. They range from unicellular to filamentous and include colonial species, colonies may form filaments, sheets, or even hollow balls. Cyanobacteria can fix nitrogen in anaerobic conditions by means of specialized cells called heterocysts. Heterocysts may also form under the environmental conditions when fixed nitrogen is scarce. Free-living cyanobacteria are present in the column in rice paddies, and cyanobacteria can be found growing as epiphytes on the surfaces of the green alga, Chara. Cyanobacteria such as, can provide rice plantations with biofertilizer, many cyanobacteria form motile filaments of cells, called hormogonia, that travel away from the main biomass to bud and form new colonies elsewhere. The cells in a hormogonium are often thinner than in the state. To break away from the parent colony, a hormogonium often must tear apart a weaker cell in a filament, each individual cell of a cyanobacterium typically has a thick, gelatinous cell wall. They lack flagella, but hormogonia of some species can move about by gliding along surfaces, many of the multicellular filamentous forms of Oscillatoria are capable of a waving motion, the filament oscillates back and forth. In water columns, some cyanobacteria float by forming gas vesicles and these vesicles are not organelles as such. They are not bounded by membranes, but by a protein sheath. Cyanobacteria can be found in almost every terrestrial and aquatic habitat—oceans, fresh water, damp soil, temporarily moistened rocks in deserts, bare rock and soil and they can occur as planktonic cells or form phototrophic biofilms. They are found in almost every endolithic ecosystem, a few are endosymbionts in lichens, plants, various protists, or sponges and provide energy for the host. Some live in the fur of sloths, providing a form of camouflage, aquatic cyanobacteria are known for their extensive and highly visible blooms that can form in both freshwater and marine environments

16. Mycorrhiza – A mycorrhiza is a symbiotic association between a fungus and the roots of a vascular host plant. The term mycorrhiza refers to the role of the fungi in the plants rhizosphere, mycorrhizae play important roles in soil biology and soil chemistry. In a mycorrhizal association, the fungus colonizes the host plants root tissues, either intracellularly as in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, the association is generally mutualistic, but in particular species or in particular circumstances, mycorrhizae may be variously pathogenic in the host plants. Mycorrhizal fungi form a relationship with the roots of most plant species. In such a relationship, both the plants themselves and those parts of the roots that host the fungi, are said to be mycorrhizal, the Orchidaceae are notorious as a family in which the absence of the correct mycorrhizae is fatal even to germinating seeds. Recent research into plants in boreal forests has indicated that mycorrhizal fungi. This relationship was noted when mycorrhizal fungi were found to be hoarding nitrogen from plant roots in times of nitrogen scarcity. Researchers argue that some mycorrhizae distribute nutrients based upon the environment with surrounding plants, the mycorrhizal mutualistic association provides the fungus with relatively constant and direct access to carbohydrates, such as glucose and sucrose. The carbohydrates are translocated from their source to root tissue and on to the fungal partners. The effect is thus to improve the plants mineral absorption capabilities, unaided plant roots may be unable to take up macronutrients that are chemically or physically immobilised, examples include phosphate ions and micronutrients such as iron. One form of such immobilization occurs in soil with clay content. The mycelium of the fungus can, however, access many such nutrient sources. Thus many plants are able to obtain phosphate, without using soil as a source, Suillus tomentosus, a basidiomycete fungus, produces specialized structures known as tuberculate ectomycorrhizae with its plant host lodgepole pine. These structures have shown to host nitrogen fixing bacteria which contribute a significant amount of nitrogen. The mechanisms by which mycorrhizae increase absorption include some that are physical, chemically, the cell membrane chemistry of fungi differs from that of plants. For example, they may secrete organic acid that dissolve or chelate many ions, mycorrhizae are especially beneficial for the plant partner in nutrient-poor soils. Mycorrhizal plants are more resistant to diseases, such as those caused by microbial soil-borne pathogens. AMF was also correlated with soil biological fertility variables such as soil fungi and soil bacteria

17. Carl Peter Thunberg – Carl Peter Thunberg, also known as Karl Peter von Thunberg, Carl Pehr Thunberg, or Carl Per Thunberg, was a Swedish naturalist and an apostle of Carl Linnaeus. He has been called the father of South African botany, pioneer of Occidental Medicine in Japan, Thunberg was born and grew up in Jönköping, Sweden. At the age of 18, he entered the Swedish Uppsala University where he was taught by the famous Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus who was known for his work Philosophia Botanica. Thunberg graduated in 1767 after only 6 years of studying, in order to deepen his knowledge in botany, medicine and natural history, he was encouraged by Linnaeus in 1770 to travel to Paris and Amsterdam. Thunberg who had ever since been fascinated by the secretive and mainly unknown East Indies was eager to travel to the Cape of Good Hope, with the help of Burman and Gronovius, Thunberg entered the Dutch East India Company as a surgeon on board of the Schoonzicht. As the East Indies where under Dutch control, the way to enter the colonies was via the V. O. C. Hence, Thunberg debarked in December 1771, in March 1772, he reached Cape Town in South Africa. Thunbergs travel to Africa is described in the volume of his travelogue. The Khoikhoi were the first foreign culture with which the Swede was confronted, the different customs and traditions of the native people elicited both his disgust and admiration. They grease their entire body with greasy substances and above this, they put cow dung and this attitude - to try to justify rituals he did not understand - also marks his encounter with the Japanese people. Since the main purpose for his journey was to collect specimen for the gardens in Leiden, Thunberg regularly undertook field trips, between September 1772 and January 1773, he accompanied the Dutch superintendent of the V. O. C garden, Johan Andreas Auge. Their journey took them to the north of Saldanha Bay, east along the Breede Valley through the Langkloof as far as the Gamtoos River and returning by way of the Little Karoo. Shortly after returning, Thunberg met Francis Masson, a Scots gardener who had come to Cape Town to collect plants for the Royal Gardens at Kew and they were immediately drawn together by their shared interests. During one of their trips, they were joined by Robert Jacob Gordon, on leave from his regiment in the Netherlands, together, the scientists undertook two further inland expeditions. During his three expeditions into the interior, Thunberg collected a significant number of specimens of flora and fauna. At the initiative of Linnaeus, he graduated at Uppsala as Doctor of Medicine in absentia, Thunberg left the Cape for Batavia on 2 March 1775. He arrived in Batavia on 18 May 1775, and left for Japan on 20 June. In August 1775, he arrived at the Dutch factory of the V. O. C. at Dejima, however, just like the Dutch merchants, Thunberg was hardly allowed to leave the island

18. Khoikhoi – The Khoikhoi or Khoi, spelled Khoekhoe in standardised Khoekhoe/Nama orthography, are a group of Khoisan people native to southwestern Africa. Unlike the neighbouring hunter-gatherer San people, the Khoikhoi traditionally practised nomadic pastoral agriculture, when European immigrants colonised the area after 1652, the Khoikhoi maintained large herds of Nguni cattle in the Cape region. The Dutch settlers labelled them Hottentots, in imitation of the sound of the sounds that are characteristic of the Khoekhoe language. The Khoikhoi, originally part of a culture and language group to be found across Southern Africa. Southward migration of the group was steady, eventually reaching the Cape approximately 2,000 years ago. Khoikhoi subgroups include the Namaqua to the west, the Korana of mid-South Africa, advancing Bantu in the 3rd century AD encroached on the Khoikhoi territory, forcing movement into more arid areas. There was some intermarriage between migratory Khoi bands living around what is today Cape Town and the San, however the two groups remained culturally distinct as the Khoikhoi continued to graze livestock and the San to subsist on hunting-gathering. The Khoi first encountered Portuguese explorers and merchants around AD1500, the ongoing encounters were often violent. Local population dropped when the Khoi were exposed to smallpox by Europeans, warfare against Europeans flared when the Dutch East India Company enclosed traditional grazing land for farms. Over the following century, the Khoi were steadily driven off their land, Khoikhoi social organisation was profoundly damaged and, in the end, destroyed by colonial expansion and land seizure from the late 17th century onwards. As social structures broke down, some Khoikhoi people settled on farms and became bondsmen or farm workers, others were incorporated into existing clan, like many Khoikhoi and mixed-race people, the Griqua left the Cape Colony and migrated into the interior. Responding to the influence of missionaries, they formed the states of Griqualand West, by the early 1800s, the remaining Khoi of the Cape Colony suffered from restricted civil rights and discriminatory laws on land ownership. The more cynical motive was probably to create a buffer-zone on the Capes frontier, the settlements thrived and expanded, and Kat River quickly became a large and successful region of the Cape that subsisted more or less autonomously. The people were predominantly Afrikaans-speaking Gonaqua Khoi, but the settlement also began to attract other Khoi, Xhosa, the Khoi were known at the time for being very good marksmen, and were often invaluable allies of the Cape Colony in its frontier wars with the neighbouring Xhosa. In the Seventh Frontier War against the Gcaleka Xhosa, the Khoi gunmen from Kat River distinguished themselves under their leader Andries Botha in the assault on the Amatola fastnesses. However harsh laws were implemented in the Eastern Cape, to encourage the Khoi to leave their lands in the Kat River region. The growing resentment exploded in 1850, when the Xhosa rose against the Cape Government, large numbers of Khoi for the first time joined the Xhosa rebels. However, this principle was eroded in the late 1880s by a literacy test

19. William Paterson (explorer) – Colonel William Paterson, FRS was a Scottish soldier, explorer, Lieutenant governor and botanist best known for leading early settlement in Tasmania. A native of Montrose, Scotland, Paterson was interested in botany as a boy, Paterson was sent to the Cape Colony by the wealthy and eccentric Countess of Strathmore to collect plants, he arrived in Table Bay on board the Houghton in May 1777. He made four trips into the interior between May 1777 and March 1780, when he departed, in 1789 Paterson published Narrative of Four Journeys into the Country of the Hottentots and Caffraria, which he dedicated to Sir Joseph Banks. Paterson was originally commissioned as an ensign in the 98th Regiment of Foot and he later transferred to the 73rd Regiment of Foot after the 98ths disbandment in 1787. In 1789, he was promoted to captain in the New South Wales Corps, after some time spent recruiting, he arrived in Sydney in October 1791. From November 1791 until March 1793 he served in command on Norfolk Island, whilst there he collected botanical, geological and insect specimens and sent them to Banks. He also provided seed to the Lee and Kennedy and Colvill nurseries and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in May 1798. In 1794 he served for a year as Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales, in 1800 he was re-appointed to the post and served a second term until 1808. Between 1804 and 1808 Paterson was also appointed Commandant at Port Dalrymple, in 1806, Patersons duties as commander of the New South Wales Corps required him to return to Sydney, but he went back to Van Diemens Land in 1807, and stayed until December 1808. During this time he corresponded regularly with the eminent naturalist Sir Joseph Banks, the New South Wales Corps selected Paterson as acting Governor of New South Wales on 1 January 1809 after the deposition of Governor Captain William Bligh in the so-called Rum Rebellion. He was replaced by the newly arrived Lachlan Macquarie by the end of the year and he left Sydney for England on 12 May 1810, but died on board HMS Dromedary while off Cape Horn just a few weeks later. His widow Elizabeth married Francis Grose in April 1814, but he died a month later, Elizabeth died in Liverpool, England in 1839. Historical records of New South Wales, alexander, Alison, The Companion to Tasmanian History, Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart. William A Narrative of four Journeys into the Country of the Hottentotts, in the Years One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Seven, Eight, and Nine. Vernon S. Forbes and John Rourke, Patersons Cape Travels,1777 to 1779, Johannesburg, ISBN 0-909079-12-9 Leonard Guelke and Jeanne K. Guelke, Imperial eyes on South Africa, reassessing travel narratives, Journal of Historical Geography. Van Diemens Land from the earliest times to 1855, Melbourne, ISBN 0-19-554364-5 Anne-Maree Whitaker, Mrs Patersons keepsakes, the provenance of some significant colonial documents and paintings, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society. Brendan Whiting, Victims of Tyranny, The Story of the Fitzgerald Convict Brothers, ISBN 0-646-43345-8 David S. Macmillan, Paterson, William, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, MUP,1967, pp 317–319 Short biography from the Australian National Botanic Gardens

20. King William's Town – King Williams Town is a town in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa along the banks of the Buffalo River. The town is about 30 minutes motorway drive WNW of the Indian Ocean port of East London, the town is part of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape. King, as the town is called, stands 389 m above the sea at the foot of the Amatola Mountains. King Williams Town is the second most populous city in the Buffalo City Municipality, the town has one of the oldest post offices in the country developed by missionaries led by Brownlee. Founded by Sir Benjamin dUrban in May 1835 during the Xhosa War of that year and it was abandoned in December 1836, but was reoccupied in 1846 and was the capital of British Kaffraria from its creation in 1847 to its incorporation in 1865 with the Cape Colony. King Williams Town was originally declared the capital of the surrounding Adelaide District in the 1830s. On 5 May 1877, the Cape Government of Prime Minister John Molteno opened the first railway, connecting the town to East London on the coast and to the Xhosa lands inland and further east. With its direct railway communication, the became an important entrepot for trade with the Xhosa people throughout Kaffraria. The areas economy depended on cattle and sheep ranching, and the town itself has an industrial base producing textiles, soap, candles, sweets, cartons. In recent years, its proximity to the new capital city of Bhisho has brought much development to the area since the end of apartheid in 1994. The provincial government recently announced that they plan to rename the town with a traditional African name, the town is also home to Huberta, one of the farthest-travelling hippopotami in South Africa. It is preserved in the Amathole Museum in the King Williams Town CBD

21. Baboon

Geography and distribution

The Eastern Cape giant cycad is widely distributed in the Eastern Cape and south-western KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.


In the early years, this popular ornamental species appears trunkless, producing stiff, pinnate, palm-like leaves to 2.5m long with spiny bright green leaflets. Leaves are whorled forming a dense upright crown. Over time, a stout trunk begins to develop, eventually rising to 4-5m tall. Although woody in appearance, the stem mostly comprises soft, pithy storage tissue protected by a solid layer of old leaf-bases. Initially, the single stem is erect, but over time it usually begins to recline, and can produce suckers from the base, forming a clump of multiple stems.

At reproductive maturity separate plants bear between two to five male or female cones on each stem. The large, yellowish green female cones are egg-shaped, almost resembling a pineapple, while the similarly coloured, but the smaller male cones are cylindrical.

The seeds produced are large and have a red, fleshy outer coat, but are relatively short-lived and vulnerable to desiccation. The seeds are known to attract the Knysna turaco and trumpeter hornbill. Consuming the seeds, these birds digest the outer coat but then regurgitate the unpalatable part of the seed. If these are discarded in a hospitable environment, there is a relatively good chance they will germinate and grow into a mature plant.

Kew's first plant hunter

Our specimen of Encephalartos altensteinii was collected for the botanic garden in 1773 by Kew’s first plant hunter, Francis Masson. Sir Joseph Banks was the 'unofficial' head of Kew at the time, and had ambitions to build a world-class botanic collection on behalf of the King. Banks sent Masson to South Africa to find new plants for King George III’s collection, and Masson was very successful – he also introduced the first 'bird of paradise' plant ( Strelitzia reginae ), arum lilies, proteas and red-hot pokers.

This plant would have been dug up in the South African forest, carried across country by a team of African porters, and loaded onto a wooden sailing ship at the Cape. It would then have sailed slowly back round the coast of West Africa to London, a journey of several months, with the plant strapped to the deck to allow it rainwater and sunlight. Once the plant reached the Port of London, it would have been loaded onto a barge and taken upstream along the Thames to Kew.

It has been here at the Gardens ever since, and was already a pensioner when it was moved into the newly finished Palm House in 1848. Francis Masson died collecting plants in Canada in 1805, but his contribution to Kew continues to be remembered, particularly in association with this cycad.

Threats and conservation

Although land clearance has claimed hundreds of Eastern Cape giant cycads, and numerous plants have been taken from the wild to sustain nurseries, this species remains common throughout its range. There are no specific conservation measures in place, but the species is listed on Appendix I of CITES, which permits trade only under exceptional circumstances.

Conservation assessments carried out by Kew

Encephalartos altensteinii is being monitored as part of the IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants , which aims to produce conservation assessments for a representative sample of the world’s plant species. This information will then be used to monitor trends in extinction risk and help focus conservation efforts where they are needed most.


The Eastern Cape giant cycad is grown as a pot plant and popular ornamental garden species. The stem pith is also used for food (sago) by removing it, burying it, rotting it, digging it up, kneading and baking it.


Encephalartos altensteinii requires fertile well-drained soil and ample water. It can withstand relatively long dry spells but plants that receive regular water are healthier and have larger leaves. During summer give sufficient water to soak the root area once a week. Watering can be suspended during winter. Good drainage is crucial. In hot dry regions inland, the sun tends to burn the leaves and they are better planted in light shade. A mulch of well-rotted compost applied at least once a year around the base of the plant, plus application of a balanced fertiliser twice a year during summer will keep the plant in good condition and maintain growth.

This species at Kew

The south end of the Palm House at Kew houses a large specimen of Encephalartos altensteinii , which has been described as 'possibly the oldest pot plant in the world’.

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